Low White Blood Cell Count In Children: What Causes Low White Cell?

Low White Blood Cell Count in Children, What Does it Mean?

Leukocytes are important in immunity. When someone has an infection, the number of leukocytes in the blood increases. Low white blood cell count in children can be a cause for concern because it can affect immunity and it can also signify a serious health condition.

  • White blood cells are important to immunity

  • They are produced in the bone barrow

  • Having slightly lower or slightly elevated WBC may be considered normal

  • Leucopenia is the medical term used to describe low white blood cell count

Normal White Cell Counts

  • In adults, the normal white blood cell count is 4,300 to 10,800.

  • Newborn infants have a very high white blood cell count as a way to compensate for an immature immune system. Their WBC can range from 9000 to 30,000. The count stabilizes within 15 days of life.

  • Normal count for kids is between 4,300 to 10,8000/mcl

  • Kids below the age of one may have slightly higher WBC count

Causes of Low White Blood Cell Count in Children

There are several possible causes of leucopenia in kids.

These causes include:

  • Vitamin deficiency

  • Parasites causing vitamin deficiency

  • Aplastic anemia

  • Viral infections that have a temporary effect on the bone marrow

  • Cancer – certain cancers can affect the way that bone marrow produces white blood cells

  • Hyperthyroidism, Grave’s diseases

  • Congenital Disorders that cause diminished bone marrow function

  • Leukemia

  • Lupus

  • Kostmann’s Syndrome

  • Splenomegaly

  • Auto-immune diseases that attack the white blood cells

  • HIV/AIDS – kids with these condition can have low white blood cell count

  • Chemotherapy

  • Radiation


Treatment is going to vary depending upon the cause of the condition, however, the main goal is to raise the white blood cell count.

Some common treatments include:

  • Diet improvement

  • De-worming

  • Vitamin Supplements

  • Medication – patients may be prescribed drugs that can help elevate white blood cell count.

When white cell count is low, it is important to guard against infection by proper infection transmission care and with isolation.

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